Boone Pickens Sells Chesapeake Stock, Strange Comment on NatGas

Has T. Boone Pickens, Texas oil billionaire and author of “The Pickens Plan” that calls for America to use natural gas to reduce our dependency on OPEC oil and as a bridge to a renewable energy future, now turned his back on natural gas? His investment company, BP Capital Management, has sold off all of its Chesapeake Energy stock. Pickens’ comment on the reason for selling off Chesapeake was a tad strange:

“We didn’t like natural gas.”

A somewhat cryptic comment. He didn’t like it as an investment because of historically low commodity prices for it? Or he didn’t like it because he no longer believes in his own plan? The mainstream media is positioning his comment as the later. MDN thinks it’s likely the former.

T. Boone Pickens, the billionaire energy investor, said he’s sold off his shares in Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK), his third-biggest stock holding at year-end.

“We do not own Chesapeake stock,” Pickens said yesterday at the SkyBridge Alternatives Conference in Las Vegas. “We didn’t like natural gas.”

Asked whether it was “the politics of the company” that spurred his share sale, Pickens said, “It was not.”

“Aubrey is a good friend,” Pickens said. “The guy has pulled off some unusual deals. He’s done some very innovative things. He’s in a spot where he’s spending more than his cash flow.”

BP Capital Management, the investment firm Pickens founded in 1996, held 570,055 shares of Chesapeake as of Dec. 31, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Its biggest equity holdings were BP Plc (BP/) and McMoRan Exploration Co. (MMR).*

*Bloomberg (May 11, 2012) – Pickens Says He’s Sold Off Holdings of Chesapeake Energy